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Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

  • About David Burbage

    David Burbage MBE was Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council from 2007-2016. This blog : Promoted by Geoff Hill on behalf of David Burbage and all other Windsor and Maidenhead Conservative candidates, all of 2 Castle End Farm, Ruscombe, Berkshire RG10 9XQ
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Advertiser Letters

Posted by davidburbage on March 20, 2008

An interesting crop of letters this week.

Gordon Marr’s letter on the right to roam demonstrates the difficulty of pleasing all of the people all of the time. I am informed that the “condition” is not quite as black and white as is described in his letter, because there is no right of way along the specific path at all – it’s only there by kind permission etc. However, the condition exists and as such it’s worth looking at to see what our options are.

NAAS (name and address supplied) writes about the possible loss of the care facility at St Marks. I raised this issue with the Mental Health Trust when they came to visit the Council last week, because some people think it’s better to centralise it all. Nope!

NAAS (a teacher) writes at length. Conclusion – criticise teachers at your own risk! But there’s some good points in this long letter. The questions contained therein provide opportunities for answers (from my personal point of view only)

Should I drop breakfast club? No

Should I drop the sports clubs? No

Should I drop the after school club? No

Should I drop long and involved meetings with parents? Probably no, but do take care not to become more social worker than educator.

Should I stop having planning meetings with colleagues/training on myriad of Govt initiatives/legistlation? Well, some of these can probably be slimmed down because Govt priorities are rarely school priorities.

Should I stop try trying to communicate with colleagues about red tape? Yes, if at all possible!

Should I drop the required individualised learning plans, report writing, target setting … [there followed a long list of more red tapish stuff]? Yes, in an ideal world, we could cut this lot right back and let you do more teaching.

Should I drop the countless year meetings, subject meetings, staff meetings? Quite possibly, if they really are countless and this isn’t just an exaggeration….

Do parents no longer have any responsibilities? Well, yes. This is the key question in the letter. The problem is that in this modern world we’re so concerned about rights – and the media go on about this, educating everyone (including naughty children) so that they feel they are ‘untouchable’ – (and the fear of legal action/ complaint / racist / sexist / you-name-it-ist allegations) it appears that the semblance of individual responsibility that used to exist has disappeared from the radar. Thanks, liberals of the world, great job.

That all said, one of our manifesto commitments is to improve school discipline. We have a paper coming forward to Cabinet in May to see what can be done – there are real concerns from residents in this area.

Alex Goodlet writes somewhat sceptically about the Waterways restoration. One correction – he finishes “we [ratepayers] look set to be the people paying for it”. Wrong. The MWRG is a charity and whilst the Council is an enabler, a facilitator and a strong supporter, we are not Santa Claus and the MWRG remains a charity in its own right.

Peter Smith writes noting our achievements to date. Too right!

Derek Fry writes bemoaning the threatened loss of Shoppenhangers Manor. Yes, it’s a valid point and one shared by many.


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